Spring Arrives at Thorn Creek Nature Center

Park Forest, IL-(ENEWSPF)- Spend some time in Thorn Creek Woods and you will notice little patches of color making its way into the brown and gray woodland. Spring beauties are poking their little white and pink heads out, the greens of the wild leeks and onions are becoming more and more visible in the floodplains and the leaf buds are looking forward to opening as warm weather becomes a reality. The woodland has also become louder as the days get longer. Chorus frogs are singing their little hearts out, birds are voicing their opinions during territorial disputes and the sounds of hikers echo through the trees.    

Bring the family out and enjoy 3 ½ miles of trails through Thorn Creek Nature Preserve and then top your day off by exploring Thorn Creek Nature Center. The nature center offers a bird viewing window, children’s science corner, displays for children and adults, and our Eugene Schwartz Memorial Library packed with books on local history and nature!  Trails are open daily from dawn to dusk and the nature center is open Friday-Sunday, noon to 4 p.m. Thorn Creek Nature Center is located at 247 Monee Road, Park Forest, 708-747-6320 and [email protected].

Discover the wonders of spring in a weekly morning walk. Wednesday Morning Walkers meets every Wednesday from 7:30-9 a.m. and is free for ages 11 years to adult.  

Calling all young people age 9 to 12! Thorn Creek’s Junior Ecologists Club offers fun-filled nature activities each month for young people. They will explore the woods, track seasonal changes and discover woodland plants and animals. JEC will meet Saturday, April 27 from noon to 3 p.m. Registration is required by Thursday, April 23.

Shake the winter blahs and come spend a day in the spring woods for a Garlic Mustard Workday on any or all Saturdays March 30, April 6 and April 13 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., at Thorn Creek Woods Nature Preserve.

Garlic mustard, Alliaria petiolata, is a non-native and invasive plant that can overwhelm our woodland native plants. We can slow it down by eliminating individual plants before they set seed.

Get down and dirty and help pull out these pretty but troublesome plants. Gloves, bags and a short orientation will be provided. Dress for the weather and wear sturdy boots. Workdays are for all ages and children under 15 must be accompanied by an adult. Registration for a group of 6 people or more is required.

Come look along our woodland trails for those spring beauties, toothwort, trout lilies and leeks- our spring ephemerals –  on our Spring Wildflowers Hike, Sunday, April 14 from 1-3 p.m. The hike is free for all ages. Registration is required.

Earth Day at Thorn Creek Woods Nature Preserve this year celebrates ash trees on Saturday, April 20 from noon to 4 p.m.  What kinds of ash trees grow in Thorn Creek Woods? How can you tell the differences? Where can you find them? Come find out. There will be lots of fun for everyone including a raffle, refreshments and crafts.

Come out to hear frog calls…and maybe more on the full Moon Frog Hike, Friday, April 26 from 7 to 9 p.m. Find out what all those frogs are up to! We’ll explore both on and off trail listening for the first frogs of spring, so wear water-repellent footwear. The hike is free for all ages. Registration is required.

For more information, contact Thorn Creek Nature Center, 247 Monee Road, Park Forest, at 708-747-6320 or [email protected].